Molluscan internal defense mechanism: The fate of C14-labelled bacteria in the land snailHelix pomatia (L.)
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C14-labelled bacteria,Serratia marcescens, were injected into the hemocoel ofHelix pomatia, and the distributions of bacteria and their breakdown products were followed by killing snails and measuring the C14 levels in the various tissues of the body. During rapid clearance from the hemolymph the bacteria accumulate in all tissues which have a rich hemolymph supply, but the digestive gland appears to be the most important organ in clearance (Figs. 1, 2, 3). Over the 15-day period studied, the bacterial C14 is mostly retained within the snail, becoming more evenly distributed throughout the tissues. Fecal C14 remains at a low level. These data are interpreted as indicating that a large proportion of bacterial C14, or its breakdown products, is incorporated into the snail tissues.
KeywordsDefense Mechanism Digestive Gland Breakdown Product Serratia Serratia Marcescens
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